• Visitor behavior in zoo exhibits with underwater viewing: An evaluation of six exhibits in the western United States

      Livingston, Margaret; Ridgway, Stephanie Clark (The University of Arizona., 2000)
      The design of zoo and aquarium exhibits has a strong influence on visitor behavior in exhibit enclosures. Furthermore, zoo exhibits with underwater viewing draw large crowds. The intent of this study was to formulate significant design criteria, through post-occupancy evaluation, to be used for the design of successful underwater exhibits in zoos. This study was conducted to reveal factors significantly influencing viewing time and visitor behavior in zoo exhibits with underwater viewing. At four zoo facilities, 331 visitor groups were observed and asked to participate in a short survey at six zoo exhibits. Chi-square analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to evaluate observation and survey results. The size of the underwater viewing window, animal size, animal aquatic activity, presence of infant animals, visitor group type and crowding levels had a significant impact on visitor behavior. Recommendations for the future design of underwater zoo exhibits are discussed.